It’s amazing how quickly materials can back up in your mailbox awaiting processing. Right now I’ve still got 7,000 elementium ore in my mailbox waiting to get prospected, and even as the ore sits stationary in my mailbox, I buy more off the auction house, which then gets poured into the mailbox on top of the rest, because I never know when the next ore drought will be, or how long it will last, so I buy it while it’s plentiful. I process as much of it as I can, and despite automating my manufacturing process as much as the Terms of Service will allow, there’s still only so much time in the day. And then there comes the little problem that not all the products from the shuffle move as quickly as some of the others, the Inferno Rubies you simply can’t keep in stock, while the Amberjewels pile up fast than dirty laundry on a college student’s floor. This results in a back log of ore, low demand rare gems, uncommon gems, and jewellery to be disenchanted. Every so often I’ll have a sit down and process my large queues, but then I log onto my banker again and low and behold, there is more ore ripe for the picking on the auction house. It’s a vicious cycle that makes up the routine for a manufacturing heavy goblin.
When someone say’s they are stockpiling something, it usually means it’s hoarding something away for future use:
A large accumulated stock of goods or materials, esp. one held in reserve for use at a time of shortage or other emergency.
However it can also be referring to Bulk Material Handling:
Stockpiles are used in many different areas, such as in a port, refinery or manufacturing facility. The stockpile is normally created by a stacker. A reclaimer is used to recover the material. Stockpiles are normally stacked in stockyards in refineries, ports and mine sites.
There, that sounds much better doesn’t it?
The above is just one of my tabs in my guild bank. Most of those are back log or over flow, gems I didn’t intend on stocking, however I can’t move them fast enough, in this case to keep up with Inferno Ruby sales. However I am keeping them for when I move servers in t-minus 5 days, and trying to hold onto as many Inferno Rubies as possible for when the next spike hits, or when the ore supply dries up, but without sacrificing my current sales. So I guess it fits both definitions of a stockpile eh? These materials are functioning both as a buffer (held in reserve for a time of shortage) and a place to dump them until they can be moved in my Bulk Material Handling process.
Shown left is some of my inventory, along with the items I currently have on the Auction House. These items are frequently posted, cancelled, reposted, sold, etc. The items that end up left over in my bag are items that either TradeSkillMaster won’t post because I’m throttling how many go up at one time, or the profit isn’t great enough to warrant it (or there’s no profit at all!). Wait, let’s back up here, my backlog is items that I haven’t been able to post yet, but so is my stockpile technically, and so is my inventory? It would seem that all these words floating around, inventory, stockpile, stock, backlog, cold storage, rainy day mats, buffers etc. all just mean the same thing, items we haven’t gotten around to selling or using yet for whatever reason, be it due to poor prices, waiting for demand spike, or not having enough time in a day.
I’m not going to lie, when I started this post I had every intention to rage on about how all these terms are different, and how so many players misuse them, but as I got into the meat of my post I realized that all these are terms for exactly the same thing. The pile of junk I store in my banker’s actual bank is no different than the shiny gems I keep in the guild bank, they’re just more items in limbo before I find something to do with them. The irony here is most of the items I have that I’ve labelled as a stockpile, as in items held back for a later patch, are actually just by-products of my manufacturing process that I haven’t been able to move yet. It will be interesting to see how much merchandise I am left with once patch 4.3 settles down.
As a side note, the World of Warcraft Wealth Survey is going excellently, with at the time of this writing over 2,300 completed replies! I plan on compiling the results this weekend, and as of such will be closing the survey Saturday morning, so for all you slowpokes get your results in sooner than later! Also continue to encourage your friends, guildies, and server mates to take the survey as well.