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Economy of Scale

Ford Assembly LineIn many industries it becomes cheaper to produce an item as the volume of production increases, and they will often pass on these savings (or in some cases the increased expensive of producing smaller) on to you, so you save money when you buy in bulk. Of course in World of Warcraft our prices are influenced more by the current market prices, so any price reductions we can make goes straight into our pockets.

Since there’s only one of you, its not possible to use a mass production approach to your crafting, since there’s only one line, you. Rather, most goblins, knowingly or not, operate much more closely to a batch production type business, working on batches of the process one step at a time. We’ll pull the ore from the mail box, prospect it, craft it, disenchant were applicable, craft again, send to banker, rinse, repeat. This is very common in small businesses that can’t afford machinery or production staff to run a full mass production line, or for products that have inconsistent demand (sound familiar?) since it can be easily stopped.

Since many of the steps in a typical goblin’s manufacturing process can be automated now, the more you can cram into an AFK session, the more you can process at once, and the less you have to go back and forth with the mailbox or bank the quicker you get things done. This is especially prominent in certain activities:

  • Collecting mail from the Auction House
  • Turning pigments into ink
  • Using The Consortium Key Sender to mill/disenchant/prospect while WoW is minimized

In each of these cases the advantage of increasing the size of the batch is clear, less time in game and more time taking care of out of game work while the menial labour goes on in the background. Obviously the first way to take advantage of this is to work in bulk, wait until you have a reasonable amount of ore sitting in your mail, and then process it, don’t bother processing every dozen or so stack individually. Once you’re working fully in bulk though there is one more thing you can do, increase bag space.

One of the most important things you can do for any character on your account is deck it out with bags, form your lowly alts to your banker to your crafters to your raiding main, bag space is crucial. For a fresh alt you can get away with simple Netherweave Bags which provide the most bang for your buck on most realms, a mere 1.1g per slot for most US realms, and will give you 80 available bag slots. Moving up the chain though to Frostweave Bags (11.4g per slot, 96 slots total w/ Backback), Embersilk Bags (16.8g per slot, 104 slots w/ backback), and eventually Illusionary Bags (170.6g per slot, a whopping 120 slots for a decked out character). Obviously as you move up the bag hierarchy the less “efficient” each slot becomes, but I can guarantee you that you’ll more than make up for it over time with the extra bag space (Illusionary Bags give you a 40 slot advantage over Netherweave Bags).

There is absolutely no reason once you start working with bulk to equip both your banker(s) and crafters with the best bags you can afford, the decrease in time running around, mailing things out, or switching tasks will be worth it in the long run. This also has the added benefit of letting you collect more items out in the field, letting you bring back more to vendor, pumping (marginally) more gold into the economy.

An interesting new storage solution is becoming available to us in patch 4.3 however, and that is Void Storage. I highly suggest you read over all the fine points yourself, but I’ll sum it up here. Void storage is not going to be a second bank, it’s going to be a cold storage for items you want to hang on to indefinitely, such as collectables you don’t use, gear you like etc. This storage solution will cost you 25g each time you deposit an item, and makes it soulbound, and strips it of gems and enchants; this is clearly not a viable storage solution for goblins. Don’t get me wrong it can still be helpful in the fact that it can relieve bank problems you have due to collectables, but I don’t expect it to be used for any gold ventures.

One subject I didn’t touch on was profession specific bags. Personally, I’m not a fan, but that is because I don’t have a character dedicated to one particular profession, and even if I did the bags don’t always “work properly” (scrolls can’t go into enchanting bags? really?). On top of that I’d possibly have to maintain sets of multiple profession bags, plus standard bags, so I would be taking up “standard” space to fully utilize this, not to mention all the bag switching. Other’s might find great use for this, especially if you have dedicated glyph bankers, but personally I don’t bother, just stick to general bags I do.

It’s really unfortunate I still don’t have a tailor, because I could seriously cut down on storage costs if I could make my own….hmmm…..

About the author

Eric Dekker

Gamer. Student. Nerd. Author of The Golden Crusade. Find him on + and Twitter.

2 comments

  1. Albacus

    There’s also imbued netherweave bags, as an intermediate step between netherweave and frostweave. 5 gold per slot, 88 total slots with backpack.

  2. Eric Dekker

    There’s actually a few I left out, just tried to touch on the main ones

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