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Archive for January, 2010

Efficiency

While there are several definitions of the word efficiency, here is the one that I am concerned with:

2.   Accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort.

To put it in more lay-man’s terms, to do something efficiently is to do it correctly, quickly and easily.  Why did I add correctly in there?  Because it’s not efficient if you screw it up and have to go back to do it again.  Luckily, that will be less of a concern where applied to my WoW crafting experiment – you can’t fail a crafting recipe.  Simply by choosing the most efficient path to level you’ll handle the correctly element of its definition.

So, what makes crafting quicker and easier?  Assuming a world where gold was  not an issue – the Auction House has the potential to make it very quick and easy.  And very expensive.  That automatically bars my characters from using the Auction House because they simply will not have the resources in the beginning to utilize it.

Some people may say, “Well, just sell some resources on the AH to make money!”  While it seems like a good suggestion on the surface, it really makes no sense for a single character starting from scratch on a new server.  You mean, I should sell a stack of resources that I need to progress in order to buy the exact same resources that I just sold?  The only way that would be efficient at all is if I managed to sell my resources at a disgustingly higher price than the rest of the market.  That’s just not going to happen, really – unless you happen to be slicker than snake spit.  Selling resources on the AH will be a useful tool – but not until AFTER I’m past the need for those resources.

Another way efficiency creeps into crafting is in selecting which recipes to skill up on.  There’s the obvious component of wanting to skill up on every single combine, and also the question of ease of obtaining the required materials.  There  may be a recipe that could give you 25-30 points before it goes yellow, and therefore unreliable, but if it requires 5 Frost Lotus for every combine, is it really worth it?

So, there is my somewhat jumbled thoughts on efficiency.  Next time, Profitability.

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I’ve often referred to my project in self-sufficient crafting as an experiment.  Well, it’s time to start actually treating it like one.  I’ve kind of started feeling like I’ve put the cart before the horse in my excitement to get this going, and I haven’t thought it through well enough.  High School science classes – it’s time to use what I learned from you!  Every experiment needs three things – a theory behind it, defined parameters, and controls.  The only thing I’ve really got down concretely yet are the parameters, and those are conveniently provided by Blizzard.  Crafting in World of Warcraft is, for the most part, its own self-contained little beast with clearly defined boundaries.  While it’s applications are integrated greatly into many aspects of the game, you don’t craft by going to the pvp arenas.

Right now, controls are right out.  I don’t have any, really.  I’ll need to focus in the days to come on what my controls are going to be.  That will mean identifying every variable out there and figuring out ways to control them individually.  But before I can even start to identify the variables, I need to work on my theory.

My theory at this point is a little wide and vague.  Namely, that there is a single way to level all professions efficiently and profitably to a level of self-sufficiency.  There are three words in that sentence that need definition.  Efficiently, Profitably, and Self-sufficiency.  I know what those words mean according to a dictionary.  I know I have a general sense of what those words mean to me in this context.  I’m sure you have a general idea of what they mean to you in this context, too.  And I’d put money down that they don’t match exactly.

In the next few days, once I’ve had the chance to find out the words I want to use, I’ll go about defining them from my perspective so you’ll know where I’m coming from down the road. As well as I write (as some people tell me), finding the words to convey meaning like this isn’t easy for me.  Give me some time and let me know if I’ve failed to get the message across.

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