Category: Inscription

Yesterday, I wrote an introduction on how to use The Undermine Journal‘s IQY data source for your gold-making strategies in World of Warcraft. Today, I’ll walk you through a scenario where I calculate the price point for Mists of Pandaria Darkmoon Faire cards.

Previously, I worked through the various calculations to determine a conservative herb milling-to-Darkmoon Faire card crafting rate. I figured that it takes about 212 MoP-level herbs to craft a single card. If you are buying herbs at or under market prices, you can then set your price for a potential, substantial profit when you list your card.

Create a Master Market Pricing File

To get started, generate an IQY file from the Undermine Journal and open it using Microsoft Excel. You will be prompted with a security notice, and it is your responsibility to understand what this means and allow/enable the security exception if you wish to proceed.

You should now have a new Excel workbook with a single worksheet that is populated with WoW auction house market price data. This will be your master market price data for all of your other workbooks. Now, save this workbook to your computer.

You will need to update this file manually in order to retrieve current market pricing, but if you link to it properly (as you’ll see below), then all of your other spreadsheet calculations will use current market prices instead of you having to search for them one at a time and enter them as static values.

How to Use the Master Market Pricing File in Your Formulas

Next, create a new Excel workbook, and type in an item name into a cell. The name must match the actual item name found in the game, or the search will fail. In another cell within the same row of the item name, type the following formula:

=VLOOKUP(<item name cell>, ‘[<pricing workbook file name>]<pricing workbook file name’s worksheet name>’!$F:$G, 2, FALSE)/10000

In my DMF Card calculator, my formula looks like this:

=VLOOKUP(A2, ‘[The Undermine Journal - H-Earthen Ring.xlsx]H-Earthen Ring’!$F:$G, 2, FALSE)/10000

For me, this returns a match for the item name in cell A2 when searching my pricing workbook, “The Undermine Journal – H-Earthen Ring.xlsx,” where my worksheet name is “H-Earthen Ring.” Columns F and G should represent the item names and market prices as returned by the IQY.

Sample Use to Determine Cost of Creating a Darkmoon Card of Mists

I multiply the market price value of each herb by 212 (135 for Fool’s cap) to determine the minimum price I should sell a card for given the current market price. Theoretically, I’m buying herbs below market price, so this value should already indicate a small profit.

Here’s an example of what my table looks like given the current market prices of herbs:

HERB M PRICE MILL VAL TOTAL COST
Green Tea Leaf 2.42 2.42 212 512.85
Rain Poppy 2.27 2.27 212 481.16
Desecrated Herb 2.48 2.48 212 525.70
Snow Lily 2.74 2.74 212 581.49
Silkweed 2.41 2.41 212 511.47
Fool’s Cap 4.25 2.85 135 573.75

The “MILL VAL” column is used to determine the milling value of Fool’s Cap when comparing the ink yield rate against the other herbs.

As you can see, it takes a decent investment just to make a single card. You also have to factor in the Scribe’s time to mill the herb, craft the inks, and diligence to make their Scroll of Wisdom each day.

You can use this method for just about every profession that makes use of raw materials to help you determine what you should sell your crafted item for at minimum. If you’re not someone that is interested in crafting, this can still be useful to you to determine whether or not an item is above or below cost.

An online friend of mine asked me how many herbs are needed to make a single Darkmoon Card of Mists in World of Warcraft. I guessed and said 400, but that seemed like too many. I figured I would crack open a spreadsheet and solve this riddle with some conservative math and a good Scotch.

Let’s face it: math is hard. Instead, we can simplify things by generalizing that the milling rate for a Mists of Pandaria herb works out to be about 1:1 in terms of stacks to Starlight Ink “value.” What I mean is, on average, if you mill a stack of herbs, you are most likely going to yield enough Shadow Pigment and Misty Pigment to craft and/or trade for one Starlight Ink. This is more or less a fair way to figure out how much herb you need to gather or buy in order to craft a card.

HERB SHADOW MISTY STACKS FOR CARD TOTAL FOR CARD
Green Tea Leaf 10 1 10.6 212
Rain Poppy 10 1 10.6 212
Silkweed 10 1 10.6 212
Snow Lily 10 1 10.6 212
Fool’s Cap 12 2 6.75 135

There are a couple of additional points, though. Fool’s Cap has a slightly higher ink yield than the other herbs. This can make a difference as to what herbs you want to use to mill if you tend to buy your herbs. Scribes also need to use one of their Scrolls of Wisdom to create the card. The scroll consumes three Ink of Dreams, so, technically, you will need eleven stacks of herb in total to craft a single Darkmoon Card of Mists.

Let’s go back to Fool’s Cap for a second. To be more precise, it takes 36% fewer Fool’s Cap to make a single card when compared to the other herbs found around Pandaria. Basically, when you’re trying to decide which herbs to purchase from the auction house to make your card, use the following logic:

  1. Find the lowest price of Green Tea LeafRain PoppySilkweed, and Snow Lily.
  2. Find the price of Fool’s Cap and subtract 36% from the price.
  3. Buy up all the herbs in #1 starting with the lowest price as long as that price is below the value derived from #2.

If the price generated from #2 is less than any of the herbs listed in #1, then, don’t be a fool and buy Fool’s Cap. See, that wasn’t so difficult. Now go out and make a killing buying herbs cheap, milling, and selling cards while the Darkmoon Faire card prices are outrageous.