Tagged: iqy

My good buddy Rexor has been telling me about this fantastic way to flip cheap, Mists of Pandaria-level Enchanting materials for nice profits in World of Warcraft. I understood his fascination with this scheme: taking advantage of players that don’t understand how Enchanting materials — or the profession, in general — work in the new expansion. If you’re making gold, the two best markets to be in are selling items that are confusing to players, or selling items in high demand to lazy and/or desperate raiders. The Sha Crystal conversion covers both of these markets.

With MoP, we are introduced to a new tier of Enchanting mats just as we were in the previous expansions. The Sha Crystal is the epic-level Enchanting mat, currently used in five Enchanting recipes. The enchants produced when using Sha Crystals are only necessary when players reach end-game, or when they pick up an item that they probably won’t upgrade for some time. While most players are busy leveling alts, battling pets, or tilling their farm, you can spend a few moments with me and figure out whether or not you want to make some gold with Enchanting.

The Conversion

Before we can confirm whether or not the Sha Crystal conversion market is worthwhile to you, we need to understand the conversion itself. Basically, it takes the following quantities of materials to “craft” one Sha Crystal:

Spirit Dust Mysterious Essence Small Ethereal Shard Ethereal Shard Sha Crystal
Spirit Dust 1 5 25 125
Mysterious Essence 1 5 25
Small Ethereal Shard 1 3 15
Ethereal Shard 1 5
Sha Crystal 1
Reading the table from left to right, you can see how many of the material on the left it takes to craft the item in the column heading. For example, it takes 125 Spirit Dust to “craft” a Sha Crystal, converting (or “upgrading”) all of your dust along the way.

The Formula

Now for the fun part. How do you know which material you should use to create your Sha Crystals? It’s easy! Simply multiply the base material by the number needed in the column to the far right (listed under “Sha Crystal”). If that number is below the market price for the crystal itself, buy it up. If it’s not, or it doesn’t present a significant profit to offset your time, then don’t do anything or sell some of your crystals.

The Spreadsheet

Nobody wants to spend their time calculating Enchanting material cost when they could be out in the world doing pet battles. If you review my post on using IQY data to retrieve market price information, you can create a spreadsheet using the conversion information and formula that will interact with current market prices. Here’s a sample of my data using the Horde auction house on Earthen Ring (US):

SPIRIT DUST MYSTERIOUS ESSENCE SMALL ETHEREAL SHARD ETHEREAL SHARD SHA CRYSTAL
378.49 367.86 259.88 334.09 447.19

As you can see, the average market price for one Sha Crystal is 447 gold. In this example, you will gain the most profit from buying 15 Small Ethereal Shards, converting them to five Ethereal Shards, and converting those to a Sha Crystal. With this information, you now have the power to drive down the price of Sha Crystals all by yourself.

If you’re like me, then you’re handsome, famous, and play World of Warcraft. If you’re not like me, then you hate spreadsheets. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you. Now, let’s take a stroll to the forbidden, seedy land of Microsoft Excel and Web Query Files.

The Undermine Journal (UJ) is a great resource for data mining market prices and the economy in World of Warcraft. You can search for an item at a time, or use their canned reports to find various types of deals. One of the many hidden gems UJ has to offer is the availability of market data as a data source. I had been using the CSV format of their market price data, but recently switched to IQY.

IQY is a Web Query File that is nothing more than a text file that includes a data source address for a Web Service or API. The IQY file is then recognized by Microsoft Excel and data returned from the service call is displayed in a worksheet.

Here’s how to generate an IQY file for Excel:

  1. Register an account on The Undermine Journal. You will not have access to the IQY data source unless you are logged in
  2. On the User Controls page, find the “Market Data XML and CSV” section, choose a realm, and click on “Excel Data Source” to access your IQY file
  3. Save and open the IQY file in Excel

Now that you have your data, you can start mining the market locally. While you could certainly use this to simply look up item values for buying and selling, this data is extremely useful for crafting. In my next post, I’ll describe how this process applies to my crafting of Darkmoon Faire cards, and formulas you can use to query the data.