Insider Trader: The patch 3.1 glyph market

Amanda Miller
A. Miller|04.17.09

Sponsored Links

Insider Trader: The patch 3.1 glyph market

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

If you are a Scribe who has not yet stepped into the glyph market since patch 3.1 went live on Tuesday, April 14th, then you'd better hustle!

As we discussed pre-patch, the glyph market is undergoing a radical shift. For a limited time, perhaps very limited, it is soaring to epic heights. Unfortunately, this will not last, and I expect the market to take a sobering downturn in the next couple of weeks.

This upswing is also affecting related markets, such as those for inks and herbs, and although we will likely see a bit of a price crash once the glyph market deteriorates, these should stabilize relatively quickly.

Today, I will be reviewing why and how the glyph market is changing, and make some predictions for the future. I will also discuss how you can earn some of this post-patch wealth, as well as ways to continue making some profit even after the demand for glyphs drops. I will also be pointing you to some interesting stories around the web of how other Scribes are cashing in this week!
Why and how is patch 3.1 affecting the demand for glyphs?

The latest patch has contributed to an initial boom in the demand for glyphs in two ways:
  1. Old glyphs have been tweaked, and many new ones have been added. As such, some glyphs no longer appeal, while others that used to be passed over are being given a second look. The new glyphs, many of which won't be available right away, will be highly sought after.
  2. Not only are people glyphing out their dual-spec, but they're glyphing their many level 70+ alts' dual-specs too! I personally bought dual-specs for three characters, and a guildmate of mine bought them for six characters!
In the first post-patch days, many Scribes are cashing in for hundreds and thousands of gold. Some are selling glyphs almost as fast as they can make them, and although the speed has eased somewhat, and inflation is already waning, there is still plenty of profit to be made.

Here are just a few examples of how Scribes around the web have been been working the market:
Of course, this market boost will not last. In fact, once it is over, the glyph market may be in significantly worse shape than it was before the patch. This is due to one key change introduced with the patch.

Once you have chosen glyphs for your main and dual-spec, you will not need to replace them unless you actually need to exchange one for another. This is a very fair change for players, but it will affect the demand for glyphs.

Before, with manual re-speccing, glyphs had to be reapplied for the new spec, and then replaced again when the character returned to his or her main spec. This gave players reason to purchase and keep small stacks of their favorite glyphs in the bank.

What will happen when most of the current upper-level player base has already purchased and applied glyphs to their two specs?

The future of the glyph market:
There are several buffers that will help keep prices for some glyphs in the profitable range, although this will not save the many glyphs that will end up selling for significantly less than 1g, rendering them not worth the trouble to make.

The first thing to consider is that there will always be new level 70+s on the way, and Death Knight alts are basically born glyph-ready. While there are many characters under the "poverty line" there are also players with enough wealth to purchase dual-specs for a number of their alts.

In other words, the demand will not drop off completely.

In addition, many characters, but particularly hybrids, will find themselves re-speccing to their off-off-spec, and in the case of Druids, a fourth spec, at least.

For example, a Paladin may be required by their guild to be able to be a healer for Ulduar, and a tank at the group's beck and call. Still, the Paladin may still spec for PvP on non-raid days.

A tanking Druid may choose feral cat as their dual-spec, so that on fights where he or she is not needed as a tank, decent DPS can be whipped out. The same goes for restoration Druids and the Balance tree. This may not mean that the character will not be specced outside of the main/dual-spec in order to run PuGs, PvP, or experiment.

Players may also change their minds about their specs as their situations and needs evolve.

Despite all of this, the demand will still be relatively low, especially for many of the inferior and/or leveling glyphs, and you may soon find yourself questioning whether or not Blizz should add new sources of profit into your profession.

How to make gold as a Scribe: Tips for cashing in now.
  1. Do you have any glyphs, ink, pigment or herbs? Sell them off now.
  2. Prices are already dropping. Research the market on your server for specific glyphs before you convert your ink. If you remember a glyph as being unpopular pre-patch, chances are it is already back to selling for a low price.
  3. Always set your auctions fairly long. The cost to list glyphs was lowered by the patch, meaning that it literally costs next to nothing to list and relist them.
  4. Liquidate, liquidate, liquidate. Frustrated by your bag of glyphs that are already selling for sub-5g? Sell them anyway. Seriously. It isn't going to get any better.
How to make gold as a Scribe: In the long run.
Another change that Blizzard implemented with patch 3.1 (check out our patch 3.1 FAQ) is that your previously bind on pick-up off-hands can now be sold to other players. Of course, as Tailors, Blacksmiths and Leatherworkers can already tell you, crafting armor and attempting to sell it is tricky business, and does not always pay off.

If the demand drops low enough, even if only as a temporary lull before some sort of normalization, you will be able to purchase ink from the Auction House at very low prices. These can then be used to cheaply craft off-hands to either be sold or disenchanted for profit.

The cheap inks can also be used to make Darkmoon Cards. These can be quite costly to produce, and a random card is generated as a result. The more cheaply you can acquire the appropriate ink, the more money you will stand to make from the sale of the decks.

You will still be able to sell glyphs, of course, but it will require dedicated monitoring of prices, choosing your auction parameters carefully, and only making the most profitable glyphs.
Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. Check out our analysis of patch 3.1 profession changes, or read through our in-depth analysis of the changes to flasks in 3.1.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.