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The Ray Smith Plan Check-In

April 29, 2013

Dear Reader,

I have a shorter correspondence today, all about the Ray Smith Plan.  If you missed what that was, it was an idea to make money while leveling through pet battles.  The player starts by purchasing a cheap pet off the auction house, then works to level the pet up and resell it at a profit.

I started with an Ashstone Core, as it was a relatively cheap rare.  My initial plan was to level it to 15 and start trying to resell it, but that was before someone pointed out how quickly one could level a pet from 1 to 25.  Unfortunately, that didn’t get the correct character the experience he needed, but a modified version of that power-leveling plan worked just fine.  Since I could access every pre-pandaria pet battler on my level 76 dk except for the one in Deepholm, I went around to each of those each day, earned a few bucks for beating  them, and leveled the core up pretty quickly.

It leveled so quickly, in fact, that it jumped from pre-15 to 18 or so, so I decided just to hold on to it until it was 25 and resell it then.  The last few levels took a little bit longer, but not much, as using two level 25 pets with the 24 core meant two higher level trainers would level the pet.

Overall it only took a couple of “days,” meaning two rounds of the master pet battle trainers.  I heroically returned to Dalaran and began posting my pet in trade while also listing it on the auction house.

And that’s where the plan has fallen apart.  Either there’s no interest in that pet or no market on the server I’m on.  I haven’t gotten a single response either from when I put a price (I’d like 3k) or when I’ve asked people to whisper with a price.  Nothing.

I also took another suggestion and upon getting a flawless mechanical battle-stone, offered to turn someone else’s cageable pet into a rare.  The going rate for un-familied flawless stones is about 4k, so I offered for 3k – a nice discount.  Nothing.  No responses.  No interest.

This has been going on for about 5 days now, including over this past weekend at peak hours, and still nothing.  It’s entirely possible the next time I log on I’ll find a seller, or it’s possible I never do.  So while the Ray Smith Plan looked excellent on paper, I’m not sure how viable it really is, even with the battle-stone addendum.

So we’ll see.  I’m going to keep leveling and pet battling as I have been, and keep trying to sell the core when I’m in town and via the AH.  When and if it goes, I’ll let you all know.  Until then, though, we just have to wait.

I’m continuing to level other pets that can be resold, in hopes that perhaps the core’s just not popular.  I’m eager to hear suggestions about what the most popular tradeable pets are, as I can’t find a resource with any data on what’s hot at the moment.  I’m leveling a phoenix now alongside a sunreaver micro-sentry, so we’ll see how those go.


Stubborn (and working)

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Samus permalink
    April 29, 2013 5:54 pm

    I have never had any luck selling anything in WoW outside the AH. Out of all the players to log on in a given day, only a tiny fraction will be in a city while you are trying to advertise, and most of those disregard all trade chat. Thousands of players check the AH, only a few dozen will read your sales pitch over chat.

    Also, I am curious how you got your prices. It has always been a real problem that things were constantly listed on the AH for crazy higher prices than they actually sold for. I can remember several things that were basically always listed for well over 1k gold, and I couldn’t sell them for 100g. The GW2 AH system is vastly superior, I don’t know why Blizzard hasn’t copied it yet.

    Then again, it could just be that you happen to have the wrong pets. I don’t know the pet market specifically, but if it’s anything like other WoW markets, one pet will sell within minutes of listing and another very similar one will never sell.

    • April 30, 2013 2:17 pm

      Me either, but it was specifically suggested to me to do that, so I figured I would on the off chance it worked. So far, nothing. I got my price from a commentator’s suggestion; he said most of the leveled pets he saw were 2-3k higher than the level 1 pet.
      I guess we’ll see how it goes over the next few sessions, but since my initial complaint was there wasn’t a way to make the money you need for necessities by leveling through pet battling, even a failure here is a success (;
      Thanks for the comment!

  2. April 30, 2013 9:47 am

    Hey. I’ve been out of the loop so I missed your initial post on this subject. The impression I have of selling pets is very few buyers care what level they are. If a person is after a specific pet, the only thing that really matters is that it’s the right breed. [Yeah, there are breeds. Thought you could get away without learning a metagame, didn’t you. 🙂 ] Your best bet for that stone is probably buying a green Mechanical pet from the AH and selling the upgraded one.

    I actually lost a lot of gold speculating that rare [literal] pets would become more valuable when pet battles were introduced. I’m now struggling to sell them for a quarter what I paid for them last expansion. Not to mention they’re a real headache to manage as inventory because mods [still] don’t handle them well.

    For making gold on a new server, the best thing in my experience is Inscription. Glyphs tend to be very contested on most servers, but this is only because even with heavy competition they are still very profitable. You don’t need to go overboard, just check the prices for the ones you can make with whatever herbs are available for cheap and post at an undercut. Few will sell, this is just the reality of the WoW AH, but you’ll make decent money on any that do.

    It’s probably always going to be the case that questing will provide more gold than alternate levelling methods. As Ghostcrawler would say, you can play the game any way you want, but I can’t promise your way will be optimal. 🙂

    • April 30, 2013 2:53 pm

      Starting with your last comment – which I fully acknowledge was made in good spirit – I’d argue that no, that’s not how he feels. The entire talent revamp in 5.0 proved that there was a right and wrong way to play, and the revamp to the opportunity to play the wrong way out of player’s hands.

      I of course understand the difference between integrating “required” talents into certain builds and the choice of how to level, but the spirit of that comment I think has been tainted. If they truly want to keep people interested, which they must with all the new leveling options – archaeology, pet battles, gathering, etc – then you’d think they’d make them viable, as well.

      In response to your other suggestion about inscription, I’ve found the same. It was the only profession I’d never tried, so rather than do double gathering, I leveled that on my DK. It’s made me FAR more money than anything else, thank goodness, or I wouldn’t have been able to buy some of the necessities I’ve already needed (flying, etc).

      Thanks for the comment!

    • April 30, 2013 9:24 pm

      I was paraphrasing, but I remember Ghostcrawler did literally say that on Twitter recently. I just tried searching but was unable to find the quote. Maybe my memory is broken and it was a different Blizzard person.

      The talents were a different thing. The original design was that awful combination of hard to learn but easy to master; newbies often missed the whole point [I still remember the first time someone asked me what spec I was and I had no idea how to answer] and veterans just looked up which talents to pick to be optimal for their role. There was very little gameplay there.

    • May 1, 2013 4:18 pm

      I agree that there was little room for gameplay, which is somewhat my point. If they’re removing “poor choices” as an option, then it seems to me that an opportunity to get to 90 with virtually no money and no new gear (via pet leveling, I mean) seems like a pretty poor option.

      In the end, I’m not concerned. My inscription will pay my bills. I just wish there were more parity there.

      Thanks for the reply!

  3. Mhorgrim permalink
    May 1, 2013 1:01 pm

    I think it isn’t the pet skill at this time. I ran across a purple rare Macaw that within 24 hours pulled 5k with no training. this happened in the last week. I’m big on looking at AH price structures so that helped. But in the end, I do think its a breed thing and relative rarity that will drive the prices. That particular bird was sold on Emerald Dream server where I now reside. It does take a little hunting down as far as mob farming or just wandering about. It also takes knowing your server markets. Some servers could care less about mats or pets or inscriptions etc. Others make a serious deal about it. I’ve never found trade chat barking to be useful unless it has to do with prospecting or enchants. Beyond that, I’ve never had luck at it.

    I don’t make it a point to go out pet hunting for profit, but if I run across something unique or extremely rare I’ll do what I can to make profit. Since I’m pretty picky about the types of pets I own, it doesn’t hurt me to move a rare I don’t want.

    The other point, I think that non rare or purple rares won’t bite interest from folks, regardless of training. I could be wrong, but the market for it just may not be worth the trouble.

    Just some thoughts from an old veteran.

    • May 1, 2013 4:12 pm

      I wanted to give it a try since it was a completely legitimate response to my own QQing about inequality of leveling paths, but I secretly expected it not to work. I’m not too disappointed, though of course I’d like to have made an easy 3k, but I’ll take what I can get, I guess.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • May 1, 2013 9:33 pm

      Those Macaws are a really sore spot for me. I was buying these for an embarrassing amount before Mists with the expectation that they would appreciate. Then I made the extra dumb mistake of converting them to battle pets before I tried to sell them, which in the case of the Macaw turns them from “epic” color to just plain rare.

      I’m pretty annoyed that the game still makes a distinction between pets as learnable items and pets that have been caged by a player out of the pet journal. We end up with effectively identical items that are in totally different AH categories.

  4. July 8, 2013 4:52 pm

    Took a while (Apr 29 post, huh?) but I finally have an unexpected personal update for the theory since I’m still not doing pet battles. A few weeks back someone offered to lowball me on a valuable item by including a L25 pet as well. Based on the lowball, the pet was valued at about 4K in the transaction so I thought I’d put my own theory to the test and made the deal. I’m going to withhold the actual pet type since I don’t think it’s relevant (I routinely see L1 versions up for 1000g unleveled so it’s rare but not unusually so).

    I listed it on the AH for 5K for a couple of weeks, no sales, nobody offering to go lower outside of the AH.

    Last week I dropped it to 4K and it just sold today. There’s a L1 equivalent up for 2K right now so in terms of an instant snapshot, that’s a 2K premium for the L25 version. There was one up for 1.1K on the weekend.

    So, at least in this one case, the theory seems to hold, it just took some patience to get the sale.

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