One of my friends recently started playing World of Warcraft. He’s one of those people who would rather ask someone about something instead of first searching for the information for himself in the instruction manual or on the internet. Indeed, he actively refuses to read the instruction manual.
I don’t mind answering questions if the information is complex, not intuitive, or not easily found in an information resource. It’s also fine if people miss some things when they read the manual. I know I have missed many details in the manual, and it’s nice when people are patient with your newbie-ness. It also helps when experienced players give you advice that is not found in the instruction manuals.
He also asks questions I consider stupid/not serious, such as “How do I change my [character’s] boob size?” or “How do I whore myself out?” or “How do I have sex in the game?” Questions like this irritate me, but whatever. I played along and told him to announce his intentions in General Chat.
Last week, he actually had a serious question, about selling items. Basic information, of course, can be found in the instruction manual, but I guess some people like consulting others. The conversation went something like this*:
Newbie Friend: How do I sell stuff?
Brinstar: Talk to a vendor (open the dialogue window).
NF: What vendors?
B: You know those people at the inns who sell you food and drink? You can sell stuff to them.
NF: The innkeepers?
B: Yeah, it’s sometimes the innkeepers. So you talk to one of them. Then you open your bags and right-click on the item you want to sell.
For many items in World of Warcraft, selling crap (“grey” items) to merchants is fine. However, there are some items that could be sold to other players at the Auction House, fetching higher prices than selling to an NPC.
When I was a new World of Warcraft player (and I think I still have a lot to learn), I was told to download the Auctioneer Add-On. I was just told that it would help me sell stuff at the Auction House. Fair enough. Things that help are good. I deferred to the greater experience and knowledge of other WOW players, as well as their higher levels of nerdiness. I was told it would be useful, so I installed it. Though I didn’t do any background reading on Auctioneer at that time, using it for the first time revealed how the Add-On worked and just how invaluable it was.
Auctioneer is a tool used to help you buy and sell items on the Auction House by taking a snapshot of current market prices for a particular item. It’s extremely helpful in determining what prices you should set when you create auctions. It saves you from taking the time to scan the market manually, and saves you from making all the calculations about the prices you set for your items.
So, I told my friend:
Brinstar: You can get better prices for some items if you sell them on the AH.
Newbie Friend: AH?
B: Auction House.
B: I recommend that you download the Auctioneer add-on. It helps you determine what prices you should sell items for by telling you the current market price for goods.
NF: I don’t cheat.
B: It’s not a cheat. It’s a tool to help you set prices for items you sell.
NF: I don’t cheat!!!!
The conversation ended there because he continued to insist that he wasn’t a cheater, despite my attempts to explain further what Auctioneer does.
Another MSN conversation about selling items ocurred a day or so later. He had been happily selling items to NPC vendors, which is fine and dandy. I suggested that he should be selling “green” or “blue” items on the Auction House because he would get significantly more money selling there rather than to the NPCs. He asked me how much more money he could get, and I told him that it really depended on the item and the level of demand for that item, but he would usually get more than what the computer would give him. He then told me that he had sold a few green items to NPCs.
A couple days after that, it seemed that my advice about selling items on the Auction House had finally sunk in. He sends me a message on MSN:
Newbie Friend: Okay, how do I make an auction?
Brinstar: Talk to the Auctioneer to bring up the auction panel. Navigate to the Create Auction Tab (at the bottom of the auction panel). Open your bags, and right-click on the item you would like to sell. Set your base price and the buy out price in the auction panel.
The next day, I get an IM on MSN:
Newbie Friend: How do I know what price to sell my items for at the Auction House?
Brinstar: This is why I told you to download and install the Auctioneer add-on. It scans the current market price for items and helps you set your prices for when you want to sell stuff.
Newbie Friend: Is that illegal?
B: No. Blizzard has made it easy for people to create add-ons for World of Warcraft. This isn’t a cheat, it’s a tool to make your life easier.
*sigh* :? We’ll see if he actually follows my advice.
* I’m paraphrasing these conversations because the actual conversations are more drawn-out and digressed away from WOW at times. I’m conveying the important bits of this particular topic.