Thursday, January 22, 2015

Futaba Presents: It's in the Bag

Before we begin, I'd like to introduce Futaba, my Monk and Tailor.

Lo Pan was taken.

You might be asking why I have a Monk as a tailor, specifically my primary tailor (I currently have 4 burning Hexweave Cooldowns everyday). There's two reasons, for starters my first experiences with a Monk class were in games like Dungeons & Dragons and EverQuest. Games where the Monk was a cloth based melee class, this always gibed with the traditional mythos of the Monk. From classic Kung Fu movies and television shows we see the Monk not wearing armor, he's traditionally portrayed in silk. Because the power of the Monk traditionally has derived from meditation, experience, and dedication to technique - not body armor. It's sort of a defining characteristic basically anywhere but Azeroth. So, I'm a bit traditionalist with regards to my views of the Monk.

Also, there's the first recurring character on Saturday Night Live, namely John Belushi's Samurai Futaba. The premise is simple, a presumably Japanese Samurai (Belushi) is put into a position for which he is not traditionally known to be. For example, Samurai Bellboy, Samurai Delicatessen, Samurai Stock Broker, and of course Samurai Tailor (as in the video below).

Belushi speaks in gibberish, imitating Japanese speech and the other cast members pretend to understand him. They've come to him because he's the best at what he does, whether it's making a sandwich, altering a suit, or doing the hustle - he's the man for the job apparently. And when he fails, on even a mild, mundane level he attempts to commit ritual suicide before his customer stops him. It's formulaic, but it's funny. And when you consider Belushi was coked out of his mind, it's downright amazing that he was doing things like tossing fresh fruit in the air and cutting it in half on a live set without incident. Ah so, now we know why I have a Monk tailor, and why his name is Futaba. I'm also a bit of a terrible person apparently.

With that out of the way, let's get to the meat and potatoes of this entry.

Last month I wrote an article about establishing value, I used my old favorite the Netherweave Bag as an example. Tailoring has always been a staple for my gold making enterprises, particularly because everybody needs bags to carry their gear in. Cast spells? You need bags to carry stuff. Swing an axe? You need bags to carry stuff. Sneaky guy who stabs people in the ankles? Here's a bag. Point is: bags don't have class or level restrictions, they just let you carry more stuff.

If all you needed to do was make more of the same this would be a very short entry. NW bags are a great start, but they're also just the start as far as I'm concerned. The 16 slots are really nice when you're starting out, and they're perfectly for alts most of the time. Most of my alts have them in their bank slots right now in fact. Still, eventually you want to graduate to something that offers some more room. For me, the first thing I always do is grab a couple of free bags killing some Dragons (Onyxia and Sartharion). That still leaves me with a couple of slots to fill.

When I started taking stock of what my army of alts had and pushing my way into Draenor I knew a little extra pack space could go a long way. The two best options are the Frostweave Bag (20 slots) and Embersilk Bag (24 slots), now if you boost a character they get 4 Embersilks for free (this is pretty nice honestly). Both of these have held up nicely since their expansions, largely due to the amount of dust needed to create each of them.

For the Frostweave Bag you will need 60 Frostweave Cloth, 12 Infinite Dust, and 2 Eternium Threads. This is the most annoying aspect of these bags, you have to first make normal bolts of Frostweave, then create Imbued Frostweave out of those and the dust. On my server these sell quite well at about 200g each roughly. Generally the cloth for a single bag runs about 90-100g. The dust is about 25g per bag. Still leaving some definite meat on the bone for profit.

Things are about the same for the Embersilk Bag, requiring 75 Embersilk Cloth and 15 Hypnotic Dust to create (no threads needed, so that's a plus). The bags sell for around 375, the cloth is interestingly the same price as the Frostweave. The dust however is notably more costly than that used in the Frostweave Bags, nearly five times as much. So, looking  at the AH I see the following:

For an investment of 125, I make Frostweave Bags that I sell for 200 (75g profit).
For an investment of 250, I make Embersilk Bags that I sell for 375 (125g profit).

So which do I make? The answer is all of them, duh! Pay attention...

Actually, the clear winner is the Frostweave Bag. For one thing you can easily defer a good chunk of the cost by farting the dust into existence via Void Shatter. Currently you can find Void Crystals on my server for 5g each, these generally net about 10 dust per. Or, if you're REALLY trying to save your nickels and dimes, just run some level 80 raids...

I run several each week while farming for mounts. I always leave the instance with a ton of epic items and of course hundreds of cloth. My advice here is if you're going this route disenchant armor and accessories, vendor the weapons. Still, a couple of runs is enough to stock up dust for quite a few bags, subsequent runs can either be used to make dust to sell (wouldn't advise it, just drives the price lower) or you can of course vendor those epics for some gold instead.

A similar approach is also helpful for the Embersilk Bags, unfortunately there is not an equivalent shatter so you'll have to work a little harder to cut costs. One possibility is shuffling, if you can find a lot of Cata era Ore/Gems at a good price you can craft a ton of rings to DE. As I write it though, it sounds like an awful lot of work. It might be better to just go the AH route and be content with your 125g profit per bag. Still, running BWD, FL, etc and cleaning up on cloth while farming for mounts, xmog gear, and titles isn't a bad idea and will definitely help defer the cost of these bags.

I generally keep a handful of these in the AH at a time, they don't sell instantly but they sell. It's another couple thousand gold per day of profit for very little work. Meanwhile, I burn my cooldowns and bide my time. Getting a full set of Hexweave Bags on my main characters and listing what's left. I keep the ones Futaba makes, the others all go to the AH. Another 10k made each time I craft a round of bags. It all adds up pretty quickly.

Khaas the Indomitable

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